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Game News Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #89: The DRM-Free Physical Disc Thing

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Darren Monahan; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Rose Gomez

    With Pillars of Eternity only a month and a half away, Obsidian find themselves having to face the same issue Larian and inXile did before them - what to do with the promise of DRM-free physical delivery on launch day in an age of day one patches? As a studio that suffers from a reputation for bugginess, they're more concerned about the implications of a buggy "final version" being out in the wild than most. In the latest Kickstarter update, Darren Monahan explains how they've chosen to deal with that:

    Physical Backer? Read me!

    We believe the old school experience is to have all of your physical goods on or near the day a game is launched. You should be able to take out your Collector’s Edition Guidebook, unfold your cloth map, roll out your new mousepad, and enjoy it all at the same time you are playing the game.

    We believe you feel the same way we do! In order for us to have the best chance possible of getting everything completed by manufacturing and shipped so you have your rewards by or near our launch date, we have to resolve a conflict that has arisen between our promise of a DRM free game, and the realities of how long manufacturing takes.

    The realities of manufacturing require us to have a final game disc *now* in order to get it into the box with everything else. The game today isn’t the final game you’d play on March 26th. We’re continuing to fix bugs, make improvements, and polish the game.

    [...] Normally for our other games, like South Park: The Stick of Truth, we package up a pre-load version that makes installation faster. Then, once it went live, any changes we made since that pre-load version and the final 1.0 version were patched onto your computer automatically. If we required every user of a physical disc version to use an auto-patch system, we feel we would fail on our promise of a true DRM free game.

    So here is our conundrum. We have a real conflict between delivering a fully working DRM-free disc and meeting our manufacturing requirements to get you your physical rewards as near to March 26th as we can. This is a real concern, again, if a version of the game that really isn’t the final version is leaked onto the internet. The pledges backers like you put in to the game are not only at risk, it just plain sucks if lots of other people are playing the game you funded before you do. Obviously, we want the game to sell well enough so we can make more of them too, and an early leak of the disc concerns us enough that we’d like to share these concerns with you too and see what you think.

    So, what can we do?

    There are two things we feel we could do that would help mitigate these concerns:

    1. We ship everything out except the game disc, which we then ship to you after finalizing the 1.0 version. Wait a minute, Darren. That sounds crazy. You’re going to ship me a game with NO DISC inside at first?!

    Here’s why we think that’s good: Anyone who pledged to a physical reward tier will get a digital copy. You’ll be able to get a Steam or GOG.com key on our site and play the game at the same time as everyone else. You’d be able to take out your Collector’s Guidebook, your cloth map, your mousepad and enjoy all of it at the same you’re playing Pillars of Eternity.​

    2. Alternatively, we delay shipping everything out to you once we have the final 1.0 version ready. For some parts of the world, this could mean a delay of some real significance. Not just a week or two, but multiple weeks after it’s released.

    While it’s rather unorthodox, we really prefer option #1, even though it is going to cost us more in shipping costs. We just think it will be more fun for everyone to be able to enjoy all of the game and its add-ons at the same time. However, you’ve backed this game, so we want to hear what you think.

    Please share your thoughts on our official poll thread here.
    The update also contains a nice run-down of the various items included with the physical edition. I love that the almanac is inspired by Ultima V.
     
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  2. lurker3000 Arcane

    lurker3000
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    I don't know. I liked the way inExile handled this problem. Getting everything shipped to you 3 months after the game was released was pretty cool.
     
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  3. Turok Erudite

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    The moment they made the master gold a copy is going to be on the net, the best way for then is the second one, the first option is better for the backers.
     
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  4. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    What a waste of money which could be used on an expansion ! Only losers vote for the first option.
    :mob:
     
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  5. norolim Arcane

    norolim
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    Heh, I just checked the contents of the boxed Pillars of Eternity: Adventurer Edition they will be selling. Turns out they're getting
    • game DVD;
    • soundtrack CD;
    • printed manual;
    • printed guide;
    • printed map.
    while my KS boxed copy will come with... a printed manual... for twice as much money.

    Well, I knew that was likely to be the deal when pledging, so fuck it. I'll probably have to buy the Adventurer Edition as well.
     
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  6. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman The House Always Wins Patron

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    Yup, this is Wasteland 2 Ranger Edition all over again. Poor nations like us Potatoes should stick to lowest KS tiers after all.
     
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  7. Anthony Davis Blizzard Entertainment Developer

    Anthony Davis
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    The reality of the second option is that some backers won't receive their physical goods for WEEKS after the game is done, and i don't mean just one or two - for some it will mean several, depending on where they live.
     
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  8. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Yeah, if you look at WL2 and DOS, it took months for some people.

    I think this is the best they can do really. I'd have preferred they send out master discs with it and just have a big in-game warning sign when everyone first runs the game (If you installed on DVD you MUST install a patch), but I can see how the master copy will be pirated, and some people will complain about DRM.

    As it stands, of course, I can now look forward to merging 8000 threads on OBS forums about MY BOX DOESNT HAVE A CD OBSIDIAN YOU STUPID FUCK CUNTS.

    Edit: Oh, they're actually voting on it instead! Well then, #2. No need to waste shipping prices.
     
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  9. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    I voted for the 1st option. I really hate waiting months and months for these KS boxes to even ship (sometimes it's been over 6 months!!). I agree with their thinking as I want the manual, map, etc. as quickly as possible as that's all part of the "experience/nostalgia" thing for me. Even as a collector I was going to be opening the box and will just insert the final disk in when it gets shipped.

    It took a heck of a lot longer than 3 months!! I just received my Survival Edition today!!! :argh:*

    Should have gone for the Collector's Edition (signed!) like I did... :smug:


    *
    Show Spoiler
    I'll post pictures later :smug:
     
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  10. Turok Erudite

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    I vote, even i only give money for the digital reward...
     
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  11. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
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    Strap Yourselves In
    Yeah right, I'm sure the saved money would go towards on an expansion... of the profits.

    From what I saw, it is also possible the backers would have to pay the extra shipping.
     
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  12. Achiman Cipher Patron

    Achiman
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    Can someone tell me when it became too hard for PC users to install a patch? You don't need a fucking auto update feature. If you can't find the website and download and install the patch manually you don't deserve access to a PC.
     
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  13. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    ATM, #1 complaint will probably be about pathfinding.
     
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  14. SniperHF Arcane

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    This feature isn't as much about the user as it is the developers. They like version control. Auto-patching turned on by default gives them that. And the side bonus of selling the "look how easy patching is" thing.
     
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  15. dukeofwhales Arbiter

    dukeofwhales
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    Yeah if there's anything I love it's downloading 8 different incremental version patches off FileHippo or some shit, all requiring the previous patches to install. Probably my favourite part about LAN parties, after that one guy who always needs to reinstall Windows. Auto update is a Good Thing, and it's why I generally grab Steam keys over GOG ones, even though it comes with DRM.
     
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  16. Achiman Cipher Patron

    Achiman
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    Laughable. Modern processing, increased network speed and the size of harddrives now mean that most games are bloatware from day dot.
    How awesome will it be at the next lan party when everyone has to get the same 2gig patch off steam at the same time? Or you could have one guy have the patches and share them on the network, but nah, convenience cater to tards.
     
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  17. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Nobody forces devs to release patches that require the previous patch. Often enough a later patch will simply include the previous ones.
    Another aspect is, that sometimes stuff is patched, that the player might not want patched. Of the top of my head: In IWD2 undead summons were nerfed in the latest patch. AFAIK nothing else that was significant was done. A powergamer might not want "weak" summons.
    In one Half-Life game, they patched in a nerf to difficulty. Again, nothing else that was relevant was patched. It might have been good for bad players, but not for those looking for a challenge.
    Again another aspect is that patches sometimes break more than they fix. A discerning customer might want to wait with non-essential patches for a day or two, just to make sure it doesn't break the saves or similar.

    As was said, in the end it's a matter of control. And IMO no self-respecting adult should willingly give up control without good cause.
    That's why I generally think both should be possible. Optional auto-patching for lazy fucks and optional manual patching for control-freaks. They devs should simply have to live with that.
     
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  18. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    That reminds me, since GOG will allow me to control my patching, it will make it easier for me to preserve things that are changed that I don't like, for modding purposes.
     
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